Oct 16, 2008 update to the Dodge Neon ACR project car

It’s Dead!

It's dead, Jim.

As our production editor says, “Sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug.”

Well, yesterday morning we were the bug. While we were on our way to work for the first time in our reanimated Neon, the car died quite suddenly. Looks like we’ve got some diagnostic work to do. We’re hoping that it’s something simple, but rarely is anything simple when you’re up against a deadline.

Turns out that the problem isn’t simple, as we’ve had a cospatial event between the valves and the pistons thanks to a slipped timing belt.

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Per Schroeder
Per Schroeder PowerDork
10/16/08 9:33 a.m.

As our production editor says, "Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug."

Well, yesterday morning we were the bug. While we were on our way to work for the first time in our reanimated Neon, the car died quite suddenly. Looks like we've got some diagnostic work to do. We're hoping that it's something simple, but rarely is anything simple when you're up against a deadline.

Turns out that the problem isn't simple, as we've had a cospatial event between the valves and the pistons thanks to a slipped timing belt.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
10/16/08 11:25 a.m.

So the rebuild needs to be rebuilt already? Wow that sucks. Been there, done that, but luckily on a non-interference engine. Good luck!

Per Schroeder
Per Schroeder PowerDork
10/16/08 11:43 a.m.

Yea, I believe the powersteering pump froze and put enough torque on the crank pulley to stop everything. I've found a cheap head and it's on the way. I'll be out a few hundred bucks...no big deal.

It's the time that pisses me off.

Wowak
Wowak SuperDork
10/16/08 6:32 p.m.

So I suppose this means I won't be seeing you at the RallyCross Natl. Championships? Thats too bad.

jmthunderbirdturbo
jmthunderbirdturbo HalfDork
10/16/08 8:20 p.m.

gotta love rebuilding a 6 mile motor...of course, had you been drag racing it, that would have been 24 passes LOL ...which wouldnt be bad bad for a alcohol car i guess... :P

neon4891
neon4891 UltimaDork
10/17/08 11:12 a.m.

sounds like what happened to me last year, but it made it 20 miles after getting the engine repaired that it died on me again

jamesp
jamesp New Reader
10/18/08 9:35 a.m.

"cospatial event": I like that. At my work, we use "incident" a lot...

Wowak
Wowak SuperDork
10/18/08 3:46 p.m.

Kind of like when an atlas rocket blows up 30 seconds after takeoff and they announce "Theres been an anomaly."

iceracer
iceracer PowerDork
10/19/08 11:21 a.m.

I'm just wondering how a frozen P/s pump can cause a timing belt failure. Doesn't compute.

turborex87
turborex87 New Reader
10/19/08 10:34 p.m.

Sounds like a bad water pump to me or a pluged oil passage to the head locking up the cam. Either way something had to stop turning to cause the belt to jump ship. Could be a great time for a three angle valve job and port&polish! The PS pump drive/damper pulley isn't keyed to the crankshaft, it's pressed on.

Per Schroeder
Per Schroeder PowerDork
10/20/08 5:45 a.m.

that's just a guess at this point..I heard the p/s making grumbly noises and a few squeals (followed by lack of p/s boost) and a short while later the belt skipped on overrun---with that same squeal/loss of p/s boost. Dunno.

newer head/gasket set on the way.

bc
bc New Reader
10/20/08 11:59 a.m.

Hm. I've never had a p/s pump go bad enough to make a timing belt jump - you may want to have a look at the t/b tensioner.

And if the p/s is making that bad bearing grumble, seems like it's time to replace, of course.

bc

jamesp
jamesp New Reader
12/8/08 6:46 p.m.

Will it return to RallyCross greatness? Inquiring minds want to know...

After the Turner's roll at Nats, mine is off having the bolt-in Kirk rollbar replaced with an RA-legal cage, and some other goodies over the winter.

Per Schroeder
Per Schroeder PowerDork
12/8/08 7:40 p.m.

It was actually the camshaft that seized...ahh...the beauty of a used head. I've got another used head that's going on soon.

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